Grapplers take down Totems in home match

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The Mount Si wrestling team handed the Sammamish Totems a 44-22 league loss last week after posting two pins, two decisions and two major decisions.

Starting off the effort for the night was Seth Merritt who was named team captain for the match. Unfortunately, a bigger opponent, the Totems' Brian MacKenzie, won 10-9 in a match that was decided in the final seconds.

Despite the loss, the Wildcats' coach Jeff Newcomer praised the effort.

"Seth had that match. Seth could have beat him. He is weighing in at 164, wrestling a guy in the 189 class. If you get caught underneath, like he did, it's going to happen when you are giving up that much weight," said Newcomer. "Overall, Seth has done great, that's why he was captain tonight. He has had the last three of his matches won by pin."

At 215 pounds, Trevor Moore revenged Merritt's loss with a 7-0 decision. The Wildcats gave up a forfeit at 275 pounds, but came back to win by forfeit at 103 and 112 pounds.

At 119 pounds, the Wildcats' Dan Wright lost by major decision to Dean Bradshaw 16-6.

Teammate Jordan Sypher put on one of the more impressive matches of the night against the Totems' Casey Akana.

Sypher controlled the match from the start with an immediate takedown. The only points scored by his opponent were two technical points charged when Sypher accidentally put Akana in a full nelson, an illegal hold. But the young wrestler was having a hard time finding a position that would allow him to pin Akana. Finally, as the seconds were winding down and the crowd was screaming, Sypher squeezed Akana to the mat, recording the pin with one second left in the match. The pin gave Mount Si a 21-13 lead.

The veteran, Matt Haas, pinned the Totems' Alex Kreek at 130 pounds near the end of the second round. Haas toyed with Kreek, working on takedowns until he went for the finish.

"Last night [at Issaquah] everybody pulled together and wrestled really well. If we wrestled Issaquah like we did tonight we would have gotten killed," said Haas.

At 135 pounds, the Wildcats' Chris Nelson put together a 5-2 win over the Totems' Ricky Hawkins. Nelson was down by two points going into the second round. There he recorded a reversal and one technical point on an illegal hold by Hawkins. Going into the third round the match was 3-2, close enough to put the audience on the edge of their seats. With the third round coming to a close and Hawkins looking for any opportunity to score, Nelson scored another takedown to seal the win. Mount Si led 30-13 going into the 140-pound class.

Josh Magnussen wrestled his typical methodical match at 140 pounds. He won by major decision, 15-1, after controlling every round.

"I was trying to get a double arm bar, but I'm not sure how he seemed to get out of it," said Magnussen. "I had the bar in there pretty good, but his shoulders wouldn't go down."

Teammate Ben Steel followed suit at 145 pounds despite a nose that wouldn't stop bleeding. He defeated the Totems' Jim Baker 13-4.

The Wildcats' Pano Dreves lost his match at 152 pounds, 7-4. During the match he tweaked his shoulder that was still being iced after the meet ended.

Mac Donnell won by forfeit at 160 pounds and the Wildcats' Jimmy Gee lost by pin to the Totems' Eric Jochums at 171 pounds in the third round.

"I think maybe we were slow starting because of our match last night with Issaquah," said Newcomer. "Then we picked it up. Again, some of those younger guys [Merritt and Sypher] are coming through."

Mount Si took on Cedarcrest Tuesday at home with results not available until after the Record went to press. The Wildcats visit Liberty on Thursday.

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